“If I am in that same situation, I am making that same decision [again].”1 So said Congressman Allen West in response to a question about his non-judicial conviction under an Article 15 of the Universal Code of Military Justice Proceeding for the beating and terrorizing of an unarmed captive. West was fined $5000 and had the incident was put in his permanent military record. Prosecutors made it clear at the time that the actions West was accused of could have been referred to a general Court Martial proceeding. According to CNN.com reporting from 2003, “military prosecutors said his actions amounted to torture and violated articles 128 and 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice”Military Prosecutor Capt. Magdalena Pezytulska believed that West, who was a Lt. Colonel serving in action in Iraq at the time, should have been tried for assault that essentially amounted to torture and for threatening further torture and loss of life. Capt. Peztulska went on to say that “This is a case about a man who lost his temper,” and that West should be punished for his actions.2
What happened that day in Iraq that led to such serious questions about the stability and judgment of this officer who would go on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives? Yahya Jhodri Hamoodi, a civilian officer in the Iraqi Police force, was accused by a military intelligence officer of being involved with/having knowledge of an alleged plan to attack West and the troops in his command. West detained and interrogated the man and, not getting the information he wanted to hear, and admitting that the interrogation was “going nowhere”, West decided to up the ante and purposefully threaten the man with physical violence. West told is men that the man was not to be killed or harmed in any way “that he would have to be repaired” (whatever that means) but added that the situation he was initiating ”could get ugly,”.3
Things then went as you would expect in a situation involving a fearful armed man with power over an unarmed captive. “[West] watched four of his soldiers from the 220th Field Artillery Battalion beat the detainee on the head and body.” Already West had already allowed what amounted to a War Crime to be committed. Under Part I, Article 3 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in a Time of War, “there shall be no “violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture” perpetrated against a civilian or civilian official. There is no exception given even when that civilian is “suspected” of planning an attack on armed forces.4 But the abuse didn’t stop there. After this beating West took Mr. Hamoodi, placed him next to an empty barrel outside and discharged his firearm into the barrel and right next to Hamoodi’s head. The man had no reason to believe that he was going to survive this experience and he did indeed fear for his life. West later admitted that he wanted Hamoodi to think that ”this was going to be the end”, in reference to the abuse he subjected the man to.5
After this incident the Lt. Colonel, who seemingly had a bright career ahead of him, suddenly decided it was in his best interest to retire from the armed forces. After he did so he moved back to his native Florida and tried to put the disgraceful incident behind him. If only that had remained the case. In 2010 West ran for and won a seat in the US House of Representatives. He styled himself as a brash Tea Party conservative who had no regrets for what he did to terrify and abuse a man who turned out not to be involved in an attack that never took place. As noted above, West even bragged about what he did, and never showed an ounce of regret or remorse for the shame he brought upon the US and the military.
Now that I have the facts out of the way, I can really start tearing into this scumbag.
If West restricted his violence against human decency and the good name of the Congress and the people it represents to the events listed above, that would be enough in my book to disqualify him from ever “serving” the public in an official capacity. Alas, West seems to go out of his way to bring shame to everyone and everything he touches. Below is just a sample of the horrible things he has done and said while in office
On Obama voters: “I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool.”
Regarding women who combat misogyny and campaign for equal rights: “[S]trengthen up the men who are going to the fight for you… these planned Parenthood women, the Code Pink women, and all of these women that have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness — to let them know that we are not going to have our men become subservient.”
On his own Heterosexuality: “I like to, you know, ride my motorcycle. What do you want me to do? You want me to change my behavior and ride a scooter? I’m not into that.”
On Gay Americans and their Rights:
“People Can Change Their Behavior, but I Can’t Change My Color”
“Gay marriage is an oxymoron”
On the Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: “Now is not the time to appease a very small special interest group and I’ll leave it at that.”
On a private pool being forced to build a lift and ramp for disabled patrons in order to comply with the American’s With Disabilities Act:
“I have talked with and received letters from several South Florida hotels saying this is a wasteful exercise that will cost Florida businesses a lot of money and accomplish nothing.”
On Black Democratic voters: “I’m here as the modern-day Harriet Tubman to kind of lead people on the underground railroad away from that [Democratic Party] plantation.”
On his fellow Congress members who vote to get out of Afghanistan: “I would take these gentlemen over and let them get shot at a few times and maybe they’d have a different opinion.”
On allowing some to…Ride his motorcycle? “That would be like touching my wife.”
And this is just SOME of the vitriol and hate this disgrace to the USA has spewed since being elected to office. I can only hope that Florida comes to its’ senses and votes out this misogynist, homophobic, disrespectful, racist war criminal.